What Is a 0-10v Dimmer?
0-10v dimming is a lighting control method that—on direct current voltage (DC) between 0 and 10 volts—can produce varying light intensity levels. This simple lighting control system connects to your LED fixtures to provide multipurpose lighting solutions and ambiance. At 0 volts, the light will dim to its minimum light level, though typically requires a switch to turn the lights completely off. With varying intensity levels, using a 0-10v dimmer allows you to choose what light level you require based on how you are using it in that moment.
For example, Access Fixtures recently provided an outdoor LED flood light solution for a tennis and pool revamp area for a community association. By adding dimmable features, not only do the fixtures provide excellent light levels for competition; they call also be brought lower for dances, barbecues, and family gatherings. These dimming features mean that the poolside area can be appropriately used for a wide range of activities and that recouping the costs of the project would be a lot quicker.
Where to Use a 0-10v Dimmer
0-10v dimming was first developed for—and is still used as—a standard method of controlling fluorescent fixtures using light intensity controlling dimming ballasts. With the rise of LED in recent years, 0-10v dimming has adapted to become a reliable LED dimming control method and has become increasingly popular. Though typically used in retail spaces, offices, and homes with dimming-compatible LED fixtures, 0-10v dimmable features are also used for outdoor commercial and residential spaces which require multipurpose lighting or ambiance.
Using 0-10v Dimmers with LED Power Supplies
0-10-volt dimmers produce varying light intensities from 10% to 100%. The design of many dimming switches causes the fixtures to continually run (albeit at a low power), even if the dimmer is turned all the way down. With the expansion of LED technology, more and more 0-10v dimmers have the ability to completely shut off light output without any additional switches; this provides great control over your electrical power and fixtures. There is also a consequential boost in efficiency, ensuring you get the advantage in both light output and energy savings. If your 0-10v dimmer does not have the ability to entirely switch off at its lowest dimming setting, an additional relay or switch can easily be installed to avoid wasting electricity and burning the fixtures out.
Recommended Wiring Practices for 0-10v Dimming
The driver on your fixture can be a class one or class two circuit, meaning it either has no safety protection warnings or a major safety protection warning. When working with a class one circuit, it is important to take extra precaution to ensure the high-voltage output is safely handled. Class two circuit drivers have no risk of electric shock or fire because the circuit power is restricted, but class one can often be most efficient because of its ability to accommodate more LEDs.
The dimming signal, which is connected to the source (driver) typically has a purple wire that represents +10 volts and a gray wire representing the signal. When both wires are not touching, the dimming control output will be 10 volts, or 100%. When they are touching, the dimming control output will be 0 volts. 0 volts represents its minimum level, and depending on the driver, the fixture will either go into sleep mode, turn off completely, or utilize a dimmer switch to turn off.
When installing power or analog controls, it is recommended to limit the distance between the analog control wiring to the driver. It is also critical to ensure all class two control circuits be kept separate from class two line voltage wiring, required by the National Electric Code. The separation is critical because higher-voltage wiring can induce alternating current voltage to lower-voltage signals, causing the dimmed lighting to produce undesirable effects and safety issues.
LED Driver Dimming Performance
LEDs emit light when a current is present and flowing through them; their light output intensity is directly related to the current. When there is too much current going to an LED, it can burn out because an LED has little ability to control current. Due to the correlation between LED light output and current, it is possible to dim LED lights if a controlled dimming (0-10v) system is compatible with the LED driver. Due to the characteristic of LED and the design of certain drivers, not all LED drivers are compatible for usage with 0-10v dimmers, therefore is it important to ensure your fixture has the appropriate technologies to facilitate your dimmer.
Benefits of 0-10v Dimming
Aside from the light output control you have by using a 0-10v dimmer, there are a number of benefits from using a 0-10v dimmer in your LED fixture:
Ambient LED Lighting
Ambience is often a significant reason for choosing a dimmable fixture because it allows your lighting to become multi-purpose tool, aiding a range of activities that require different light levels. Restaurants and hotels often use dimmable fixtures in their seating areas to create an atmosphere or ambience at night. Additionally, dimming features are also used in sports courts to provide appropriate lighting for different levels of play and sporting activities.
LEDs are controlled through current. When a dimmer is used to control its light intensity, it also reduces the power being fed to the LED, resulting in less energy being used. Less energy used equals more money saved, and extended LED lamp life.
Reliable Operation and Efficiency
0-10v dimming drivers for LEDs allow you to create lighting to suit a mood or activity through a reliable technology. Controlling light intensity through a dimmer is directly related to the current being fed to the LED and when you dim your lights, you also reduce the power and as a result of this, your lamps will remain efficient.
Can I Make an Existing Fixture Dimmable?
Probably. With the growth of LED technologies in recent years, most LED fixtures are dimming compatible. Once confirming with the manufacturer that your LED fixture can work with a dimming function, making the switch is as easy as just switching out the driver. Switching out the driver on your fixture will allow you to connect your electrician to wire the fixture up to the correct dimmer and switching system to control your light intensity.
Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about 0-10v Dimming?
Are you looking for a fixture with 0-10v dimming? Call the lighting specialists at Access Fixtures today! We want to make sure you get the exact fixture for your needs, your budget, and your goals. We are passionate about lighting and love what we do—we’ll get you an answer. Contact us at 800-468-9925.